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Jul 30, 2021 at 11am UK
Sweden WomenSweden Women
Japan WomenJapan Women
Ericsson (7'), Blackstenius (53'), Asllani (68' pen.)
Ilestedt (29')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Tanaka (23')
Miura (38')

Preview: Sweden Women vs. Japan Women - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Sweden Women vs. Japan Women - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Olympic Games Women's Football clash between Sweden Women and Japan Women, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Sweden Women head into their Olympic quarter-final with Japan Women possessing the only remaining 100% record in the competition.

However, the host nation gave a solid account of themselves in the group stages and they will fancy their chances of causing an upset in Saitama.

Match preview

In registering a 3-0 victory over the United States, there remains a chance that Sweden's highlight of the tournament could still be their first game.

However, Peter Gerhardsson will share the nation's hopes that his team can claim Olympic gold, particularly with USA and the Netherlands now featuring in the opposite side of the draw.

Having emerged as one of the "nearly" teams of the past six years, the pressure is on a talented group of players who netted nine times during the group stages.

Stina Blackstenius has scored a third of those strikes, but Gerhardsson will be delighted that four other members of his squad have also found the back of the net.

While the Sweden head coach may face a battle to reduce expectations, squaring off against the competition hosts could prove to be a blessing in disguise.

On the pitch, Japan will be regarded as the underdogs, but there is inevitably a desire to end their decade-long wait to win another piece of major silverware.

Japan only qualified for this stage of the tournament courtesy of a 1-0 win over Chile, the decisive goal coming from Mina Tanaka 13 minutes from time.

Nevertheless, Japan will be confident about shutting out their free-scoring opponents after conceding just twice during the group stages.

These two nations are no strangers to high-profile matches, with Japan beating Sweden in the 2011 World Cup semi-finals before lifting the trophy four days later.

Sweden Women Olympic Games Women's Football form:
  • W
  • W
  • W

Japan Women Olympic Games Women's Football form:
  • D
  • L
  • W

Team News

Gerhardsson took the opportunity to rest players against New Zealand, with Madelen Janogy and Anna Anvegard taking their chance in the first team.

However, they are both likely to return to the substitutes' bench as Fridolina Rolfo and Blackstenius are among the players expected to feature in the final third.

Tanaka could potentially take the place of Yuika Sugasawa in Japan's attack after coming off the substitutes' bench to net against Chile.

Jun Endo is also an alternative to Honoka Hayashi at a time when Asako Takakura may consider a change in system.

Sweden Women possible starting lineup:
Lindahl; Andersson, Glas, Ilestedt, Bjorn; Asllani, Angeldal, Seger; Jakobsson, Blackstenius, Rolfo

Japan Women possible starting lineup:
Yamashita; Shimizu, Takarada, Kumagai, Kitamura; Sugita, Miura, Endo, Hayashi; Tanaka, Iwabuchi

We say: Sweden Women 3-1 Japan Women

Japan have already been involved in a number of tense matches, something which may work in their favour on Friday.

However, we cannot back against this Sweden side, who could make life relatively easy for themselves with another fast start to a game.

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